The Parliamentary Budget Office suggests Parliament should perhaps be better able to do its primary job.
The scope, magnitude of measures and related management challenges associated with the Strategic and Operating Review (SOR) announced in Budget 2012 merit careful oversight on the part of parliamentarians. However, the current reporting framework does not provide sufficient information for parliamentarians to fulfill their constitutional obligation to review expenditure management information related to the SOR.
Significant ad hoc reporting has been undertaken for previous expenditure review exercises. However, this reporting (and Canada’s budgetary reporting writ large) is not adequately transparent – timely, comparable, reconciled – as defined by the OECD Best Practices for Budget Transparency.
The PBO helpfully tells parliamentarians how they might fix the process.
In other news, it has now been precisely 13 months since the House of Commons adopted an unprecedented finding of contempt as the result of a dispute over Parliament’s right to demand information about the financial repercussions of government actions.